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AJ McCarron 'at peace' with staying Bengals' backup

With the 2017 NFL Draft beginning Thursday, it doesn't appear that Cincinnati Bengals backup quarterback AJ McCarron will see his trade wish granted.

The Bengals are reticent to part with a reliable backup to Andy Dalton. Cincy hasn't received an offer that has blown it away for the man who took over down the stretch of the 2015 season for an injured Dalton.

While McCarron wants the chance to start, he's resigned to his duty as the Bengals' backup.

"I'm a huge competitor. I've always been that way. I want to play," McCarron said, via the team's official website. "But it's something I can't control. There's no reason to worry about it because it spills into your life and it can affect your marriage and your relationships with people. I don't want that. A lot of people wish they could be in my shoes and get the money we to get to play a game. I love it. I'm at peace with it."

McCarron proved capable taking over for Dalton for four starts during the 2015 season, but his struggles for long stretches in the playoff loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers (despite leading a comeback) could make teams hesitant to pay big for the 26-year-old Alabama product. Also, a trade for McCarron wouldn't carry a cheap price tag.

Another reason the Bengals aren't in a hurry to trade McCarron is they believe they will have him under team control for more than just next season. The fifth-round pick in 2014 spent his rookie season on the non-football injury list for all but three weeks. The team believes he didn't accrue a season toward free agency, which would make him a restricted free agent next year. McCarron believes he should be a free agent.

"It is what it is," McCarron said of his contract situation. "That's for the lawyers."

McCarron and Jimmy Garoppolo entered the offseason as the two most likely quarterback trade targets. With the draft fast approaching, it appears both backups will be staying put for 2017.

Watch the NFL Draft LIVE on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET on NFL Network

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